Make suggestions. Say what you like or dislike. Feed bugs to the webhamster.
By MissPlayful
#3245
I have been wondering how more people could be encouraged to use this highly valuable resource that is the Creativity Pool website? Here are two suggestions.

First, how about creating a low-megabyte text-only archive of all the ideas (in the order in which they were submitted). Not simply the titles but the whole ideas. Either without any links, or with one link only for each idea (to its main position on the site). The purpose of this archive would be to allow people to quickly and efficiently browse through the entire collection of ideas. The present flotilla of links that accompanies each idea on the site is great, but it does mean that it is really not practical for people with slow internet connections and download limits to look at more than a small number of pages of ideas in a session. Being text only, each page of the archive could be quite long, perhaps with an ad or two at the top, and we could use our back buttons to get back to the rest of the site whenever we wanted.

Second, an idea that I am sure many people including the webmaster have already considered. How about a section that highlights some of the best ideas that have been submitted to Creativity Pool (regardless of when they were submitted or what categories they are in). Not the hottest ideas, but ideas judged by the webmaster and members to be those most likely to improve the lives of humans in some way, those most likely to become successful products if implemented, and the most innovative ideas, etc. One purpose of this section would be to enable members and visitors to quickly find and read a collection of the best ideas on the site, and another purpose would be to keep some of the best ideas in the spotlight, so they don’t fade into the dusty and everdarkening past. A variation on this idea would be to highlight say five ideas for a month, and then the next month highlight a different five.

To assist the webmaster in deciding which ideas to include, he or she could invite members of Creativity Pool to nominate any ideas currently on Creativity Pool they consider should be in this section.


Reward: A virtual tummy-tickle.
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By Steve
#3246
First of all, thanks for the suggestions! ;-D

MissPlayful wrote:First, how about creating a low-megabyte text-only archive of all the ideas (in the order in which they were submitted). Not simply the titles but the whole ideas. Either without any links, or with one link only for each idea (to its main position on the site). The purpose of this archive would be to allow people to quickly and efficiently browse through the entire collection of ideas. The present flotilla of links that accompanies each idea on the site is great, but it does mean that it is really not practical for people with slow internet connections and download limits to look at more than a small number of pages of ideas in a session.

A few questions: Is the site really so slow with a modem connection? Actually, once the first page has loaded, the other pages should be as fast as if the page IS text-only, because the images are stored in your browser cache and reused from there. Anyway, you say that the archive can't be browsed quickly and efficiently - what would you suggest? More ideas on a single page? And are you talking about forum threads or the front-end with the animated pool?

MissPlayful wrote:Second, an idea that I am sure many people including the webmaster have already considered. How about a section that highlights some of the best ideas that have been submitted to Creativity Pool (regardless of when they were submitted or what categories they are in). Not the hottest ideas, but ideas judged by the webmaster and members to be those most likely to improve the lives of humans in some way, those most likely to become successful products if implemented, and the most innovative ideas, etc.

Hm... yes I've thought about it. The problem is that the webmaster has very unique opinions on what's a cool idea and what isn't. ;-) The ideas most likely to improve our lives are usually also the most boring ones (NOT naming any examples here :-D ) and I really love the crazier ideas that are somewhat off the main path.

I have to admit that another reason why I didn't do it so far is time constraints - once I have more time to invest in the site, I'd rather use it to improve the search function (which is rather poor right now) or implement some new feature (possibly something with your first suggestion, who knows) that stays for good - the rankings I'd have to update on a regular basis. Also in the past I've received some hot flames whenever I tried to put my stamp on the ideas on the site, so I'm not quite sure whether a webmaster overruling the popular vote and pushing his own taste of ideas to the front would be perceived too well anyway. In the meantime I've learned not to comment on new ideas at all, and that seems to work much better. Just thinking out loud... :-?
By MissPlayful
#3247
Thanks to Steve for his thoughtful reply to “The Best Ideas on Creativity Pool”. I appreciate the problem of constraints on the webmaster’s time, and the need to spend the limited time available for making changes, on once-only changes that don’t require ongoing time input - sounds like a good strategy to me. I can also appreciate the pitfalls of webmasters selecting “best ideas’ - an area to tread warily in I agree!

Now in “The Best Ideas On Creativity Pool” I somewhat incautiously remarked “The present flotilla of links that accompanies each idea on the site is great, but it does mean that it is really not practical for people with slow internet connections and download limits to look at more than a small number of pages of ideas in a session.”

Steve says “once the first page has loaded, the other pages should be as fast as if the page IS text-only, because the images are stored in your browser cache and reused from there”. So I experimented with this, and it seems that my Windows 95 internet explorer 5.5 is very reluctant to reuse images from the cache. Most of the time it is reloading them from the site each time I visit a new page. If I can get my browser to reuse the images from the cache that might solve my problem. Meanwhile I will withdraw my airy pronouncement about the flotilla of links etc, and go back to the drawing board and tinker with my browser settings. (If anybody has any advice on this please let me know).

Okay, now beam me up Scotty, I'm getting into trouble down here!
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By Steve
#3248
Try: Extras -> Internet Options -> General. In the middle there should be a section about "Temporary Internet Files" - click on "Settings", and on the next page click on the radio button where it says "automatically." Also make sure that there's at least _some_ storage space allocated to your temporary files below. Confirm all open tabs with "ok".

Hope this help improving your Pool experience, if my description is too fragmented, let me know and I'll try again.

Either way, if you have more ideas about how I can improve the navigation on the site, I'll be glad to know - usually you don't see the wood for the trees once you got used to something. ;-)
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